The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
For 70 years, religion was suppressed under Communist rule in Russia, which was the largest republic of the Soviet Union. Millions of Christians were imprisoned or died for their faith, and 90 percent of church properties were confiscated by the government or destroyed. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and today, religious freedom in Russia is constitutionally guaranteed.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began working in Russia in 1992, and in various ways the LCMS assists The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR), The Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC), and The Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is also known as The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia and Other States (ELKRAS).
The LCMS also began work in Russia in the early 1990s with a grant to the Women's Consultation Center for pro-life counseling and services.
There are currently career missionaries working in Russia involved in theological education and outreach coordination. They lead training sessions throughout Russia and other Eurasian locations, and the missionaries walk alongside Lutheran churches in the region as their pastors and laypeople explore ways to reach out to their communities with the Gospel. Current LCMS efforts in Russia also include building up Christian resources, a digital Lutheran library and outreach through music and the arts.
At the 1998 Synod Convention, the LCMS declared itself to be in altar and pulpit fellowship with the ELCIR, making it a sister/partner church. The ELCIR consists of 15,000 members in 80 congregations with 150 leaders serving as pastors, deacons and deaconesses.
In 2010, after recommendation by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, the Office of the President, in accordance with the synodically-approved process, declared fellowship with the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC), based out of Novosibirsk, Russia. The SELC consists of approximately 21 churches and 20 pastors and deacons.
A partner church is a church body with whom the LCMS has full altar and pulpit fellowship. Many LCMS partner churches are also members of the International Lutheran council, a worldwide association of confessional Lutheran church bodies. Some LCMS partner churches came into existence through LCMS-supported mission efforts while others have historic roots that pre-date the LCMS or that are sourced in the mission efforts of other Lutheran church bodies.
Field Office Address:Evangelical Lutheran MinistriesAttention: LCMS World MissionPO Box 76, International Post Office37, Varshavskoe Shosse, 104000Moscow, RUSSIA
National Church:Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in RussiaP.O. Box 189Lappeenranta 53101FINLAND www.elci.ruwww.saratovluther.narod.ru/en_index.html
Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Colleges and Seminaries:
The Theological Institute of the Ingrian Lutheran ChurchKolbino 25Leningradskaya oblast, Vsevolozhsky rayon188680 RUSSIA
Postal Address: P.O. Box 18953101 Lappeenranta
Lutheran Theological Seminary - Novosibirsk
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